Dr. André Bieberle
Phone: +49 351 260 2913

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h. c. Uwe Hampel

Experimental Thermal Fluid Dynamics
Phone: +49 351 260 2772

Joint research project MULTI-PHASE: Enhancement of energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by multi scale modeling of multi-phase reactors

Bubble columns are widely applied multiphase reactors to produce various bulk chemicals. High primary energy input is required at high temperature and pressure operating conditions. The efficiency of bubble column reactors can be quantified by the space-time-yield and selectivity of the process and is crucially determined by the complex interactions between hydrodynamics, mass and heat transfer and reaction. However, till now reliable scale-up and design tools for such apparatuses are not available. The design is still based on simplified model approaches, which are based on hydrodynamic data (gas fraction, residence time, bubble size distribution, dispersion coefficients), which were mainly gathered for air-water system, as they are easy to handle.

The joint research project “MULTI-PHASE” aims on the development of improved CFD-based numerical simulation tools, development and application of new measurement techniques for multiphase flows as well as to provide a significant contribution for an improved bubble column reactor design based on experimental studies with organic liquids. The project partners combine core competences of research institutions and industry. The HZDR contributes with experimental studies on an industrial pilot reactor at EVONIK Industries. In particular, advanced imaging measurement techniques such as gamma-ray computer tomography and wire-mesh sensors are further developed.

pic 1: (a) DN400 bubble column with gamma-ray computer tomography and wire mesh sensor. (b) visualization of the phase distribution for different gas spargers.


  • A. Bieberle, H.-U. Härting, S. Rabha, M. Schubert, U. Hampel, Gamma-ray computed tomography for imaging of multiphase flows, Chemie Ingenieur Technik 85, 7, 2013, DOI: 10.1002/cite.201200250.
  • Schubert, M., Bieberle, A., Barthel, F., Boden, S., Hampel, U., Advanced tomographic techniques for flow imaging in columns with flow distribution packings. Chemie Ingenieur Technik 83, 7, 979-991, 2011.


  • Funding organization: Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • Title: Technologies for Sustainability and Climate Protection
  • Funding reference number: 01RC1102F
  • Period: 11/11 - 10/14

Project partners

The joint research project partners are 4 university institutions and 5 industry partners.